My friend Melissa had a little baby last week. To celebrate the impending arrival of her new little pumpkin, we hosted a simple baby shower in her honor a few weeks ago! It was such a fun excuse to get my house decorated in all things pumpkin! My friends Lea & Alicia helped me with the shower and it turned out so adorable!
For favors we just sent everyone home with a little pumpkin of their own!
We had a great turnout and it was so fun to watch Melissa's older girls help unwrap presents for their new baby sister and get so excited!
Last Sunday at church they announced that the boundaries of the different wards in our Stake were getting changed. We learned that we will be attending a newly created ward starting on November 20th. Several other ward members are coming with us and then many others are getting sent to three other wards within the stake.
After talking about the changes we decided that we needed one last opportunity to get together and celebrate our ward friendships. The idea for a ward family dinner "break the fast" was approved and our Relief Society presidency and RS meetings committee got to work! In just a few days, with a lot of help, we pulled together a large ward dinner. I loved watching so many people that I love and admire come together to make such a simple event happen.
We spent the evening working, chatting, and cleaning and had so much fun one last time. I have been blessed to serve with some truly amazing women in our ward Relief Society presidency. Kevin has also been richly blessed to work with many awesome people as he has served in our ward's Bishopric over the past year. Our friendships will remain but we will both miss the close daily contact we've had with our presidencies over the past year!
Here are a few photos snapped by me and my friend Becky over the night. We had a big spaghetti dinner and ward members brought salad, bread, and desserts. I barely had a second to eat anything since I was chasing Miss Annabelle around or talking with friends. Catie also decided to jump off a table and whacked her wrist and face, so the night was pretty eventful. I am just happy we didn't wind up in the ER. My friend Cheryl also brought her beautiful collection of pumpkins to decorate all of the tables. Everything looked fabulous!
We partied so hard that at the end of the night some of the ceiling started falling down in the gym! It was crazy! What a great night! I wish I would've taken more photos! Annabelle loved pushing chairs around and saying hi to people.
Loved this reminder as I listened to Sheri Dew speak tonight.
Progress happens little by little... which made me think of Alma 37:6, "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass."
Perfection comes later, but right now my goal is to work hard each day to make little bits of progress. Often I compare my kids to the "perfect" kids I see around me or the "fake kids" I see on social media. I forget that just like me, they are a work in progress. I don't want to create perfect little people, but rather I want to do a better job and helping myself (and my kids) recognize the little steps of progress that we are all making as we grow and learn in this life.
About 8 months ago our Stake Presidency gave us a challenge to focus on seven spiritual routines in our families. We've been trying to do them as best as we can. We are not perfect, but we have made huge progress. Daily family scripture time has been especially entertaining. I have seen so many blessings poured out on our family over the past several months as we have tried to do these things. Sometimes I have felt like we have literally had angels buoying up our family. The song "Angels Among Us" comes into my mind quite often, especially on long Sundays right after Annabelle was born when I wasn't sleeping much and the kids were crazy and Kevin was gone.
In a talk by Elder Uchtdorf a year or so ago he asked, "When our time in mortality is complete, what experiences will we be able to share about our own contribution to this significant period of our lives and to the furthering of the Lord's work? Will we be able to say that we rolled up our sleeves and labored with all our heart, might, mind, and strength? Or will we have to admit that our role was mostly that of an observer?...
Tonight I decided that I don't want to be an observer. I was also reminded that there are so many good things that can fill my time, but there are some that are more important and need to be prioritized. Sister Dew talked about prioritizing our own conversions. I'm not totally sure what that looks like or what that means, but in a recent General Conference Elder Nelson pleaded with the sisters saying, "We need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and who will use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation."
I am not one of those women yet. I am very spiritually illiterate in so many ways, but after that talk I was inspired to work harder to understand the gospel and share it with our kids. So I'm writing that commitment down and then starting to work on it today. Not tomorrow... not next week... today.
Ryan turned 4 last week and we had so much fun celebrating! Since his birthday is so close to Halloween I've decided that having a Halloween Birthday Party is the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone. He LOVED it!
We started the party off by making monster pumpkins with googly eyes, etc. Then we made playdough monsters!
After that we played pin the eyeball on the monster. :)
I have started hiring my wonderful babysitter to help me during birthday parties, and it has made them so much more relaxing!
After the game we ate BOO-nanas and pirates booty for snack and we made mummy pizzas. The kids also drank from mummy apple juices.
One of our favorite activities involves ice and little trinkets, so we froze everything into a big ice block and the kids used salt and warm water to try and melt the treasure.
Finally, it was time for cake! The chocolate chip 4 looks decent and was made from my favorite types of ice cream plus a lot of chocolate chips.
We ended the party with a Candy Walk and present opening!
I love October despite how crazy it is. This year Annabelle was a skeleton and a Brazillian soccer player, Ryan was either Captain America or Black Panther, Catie was Ariel (along with half the kindergarten), and Andrew was Harry Potter.
Today the two big kids had their parade and class parties while Ryan and Annabelle enjoyed playtime at home with our awesome babysitter Ashley.
The kinders ate bagels and fruit and did a spider craft. I forgot to bring Catie a change of clothes, so she was pretty mad at me. Recess in heels and an Ariel costume is not fun. Once she got over it, the rest of the morning was great.
Kevin & I took turns going between Andrew & Catie's classes. Andrew's class did pumpkin math and carved pumpkins.
They also ate monster crispy treats and crackers.
In between parties and pick ups, Kevin and I had a day date to McDonalds to load up on caffeine so we could survive the rest of the day. LOL.
After an afternoon of making soup and cornbread, we had a little pre-trick or treating neighborhood and friend potluck. Kids played basketball and tag and ran around.
Kevin and I brought back our Gatsby wear from earlier in the year. I added fringe to a black dress to turn it into a flapper costume. I think I'll be saving it for a lot of future holidays. It is so cozy and easy to wear.
Most of the kid crew- we're missing 1-2.
Such cute buddies!
Trick or treating was a blast! Annabelle lasted a loop around the neighborhood and then we went home and cleaned up a bit while Kevin & kids finished.
What a great Halloween! Andrew and Catie loved hanging out with their friends! Catie is a speed trick or treater. Fortunately we only lost her once. She is all about the candy.